Calls for New Leadership, Direction
More than a year after Mitt Romney's sound defeat by President Obama in the Presidential election, the Republican Party is still in a debate over its future direction and the best way forward. The latest to offer a cure for what ails the GOP is former two-term Minnesota Governor and Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty recently told USA Today that the party needs to change its focus to some specific groups. "Women, who they need to do a better job earning the support of, minorities and communities of color, people of modest income and lower income levels, and it includes younger people," he says. Pawlenty adds that he doesn't think the current makeup of the GOP can accomplish that. "The Republican Party, I think, is going to need newer leadership, more dynamic leadership, and leadership that's genuinely interested in earning the support of those groups."
Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill is all for new outreach, but he thinks the audience is less important than the message the party is bringing to that audience. "I believe we have a winning message," he tells KTRH. "But that winning message won't succeed unless we take it to people who aren't familiar with it or don't know what it says." Woodfill says that "winning message" must be made up of core, conservative principles. "We don't compromise on what we believe with respect to the (abortion) issue, we stay true to our belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, we don't stand for increased taxes, we stand for lower taxes, we stand for limited government," he says.
Woodfill points to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who stuck to a strong conservative message and won a landslide victory in 2012. "He talked the talk and walked the walk, so he said one thing on the campaign trail and delivered on that when he got elected," says Woodfill. "That's how we become the majority party in the Senate." To become the majority party this year, Republicans will need a net gain of six seats.